Chapter 52: Are you messing with me?
In the Fuqu Attic, Zhao Qixuan slouched over the flowery armchair, his lips stretched into a small smile. “Little Jing, from the second we entered this attic, I can tell that you’re uneasy. What are you nervous about?”
Helian Jing peeled his eyes away from the door he was anxiously staring at. “Why on earth would I be nervous?”
Helian Jing took a drink from his cup, trying to cover his?agitation. He took a big sip, forgetting that the tea was just made seconds ago with boiled water. The drink scalded his tongue and he jumped up, spilling the tea all over his clothes in the process.
“Who… Who made this tea? Are you trying to burn me?”
The waiter in the compartment, Little Lu, hurriedly came over to help the prince. He sounded absolutely terrified as he said, “Young Royal Highness, that wasn’t my intention. I am so sorry.”
“Get off me!” Helian Jing pushed Little Lu away irritably.
“Okay… I will make a new tea for Young Royal Highness, right now.”
Zhao Qixuan flapped his paper fan and laughed. “Who said that he wanted hot tea again?”
Helian Jing stared at him angrily and wiped the tea on his clothes sulkily.
A knock sounded on the door.
Helian Jing sat up immediately and cleared his throat. “Come in.”
Ye Jiayao pushed the door and came in. Yong An Marquis Heir-son Lord was smiling and slouching at the side. Little Jingjing was sat in front of him, looking serious, a puddle of water in front of him.
“What is going on? Little Lu, how did you treat our customers?” Ye Jiayao didn’t bother asking who was at fault and immediately put the blame on Little Lu. Customers were always right, and in this case, these customers were practically gods. She couldn’t offend them. Plus, she didn’t know if Little Jingjing came here to get even with her.
Little Lu felt helpless. He knew he didn’t do anything wrong, but he didn’t dare to defend himself.
“It was not his fault. I was careless and I spilled my tea,” Helian Jing said.
“Hurry up and change the tea for Young Royal Highness,” Ye Jiayao told Little Lu, who bowed his head and hurriedly scurried out.
Ye Jiayao then greeted her customers, her hands held together respectfully. “Li Yao welcomes you, Heir-son Lord and Young Royal Highness.”
“You told us that you still had some delicious dishes, I am here to try them out fresh,” Zhao Qixuan casually said.
Ye Jiayao smiled and nodded. “Chicken, duck, fish, abalone, sea cucumber, wild goose, shark’s fin, shrimp, crab, and fresh vegetables. Whatever you want to order, I can make it for you, Heir-son Lord.”
“I want to eat beggars’ bird,” Helian Jing said, not happy that Big Yaoyao was only focusing on Zhao Qixuan.
Ye Jiayao faked a smile. “I have an upgraded version of the beggars’ chicken, do you want to try it, Young Royal Highness?”
“I don’t want the upgraded version. I want the original taste of beggars’ bird,” Helian Jing insisted.
Beggar’s bird was the first dish that Big Yaoyao made for him. The bird that they ate cost him so much energy to hunt and he could not forget it so easily. In fact, the memory was still fresh in his mind, and he really missed its taste.
He really is looking for trouble. Damn it! If I am doing this dish, I will have to dig a hole???in??the?ground.
“Alright. Whatever Young Royal Highness wants to eat, I will cook,” Ye Jiayao agreed graciously.
You’re going to pay for this.
“I also want grass mushroom soup with pancakes,” Helian Jing continued.
Ye Jiayao really wanted to punch him.?This brat!??That grass mushroom soup was made with mushrooms she dug in the wild. This was a restaurant and they only had winter mushroom, flat mushroom, needle mushroom, and monkey head mushroom.
Ye Jiayao grinned a tad evilly. “There is no grass mushroom available, Young Royal Highness. Will you be amenable to changing it to thin mushrooms?”
Helian Jing thought about it for a while before nodding. “It must be good enough to satisfy me.”
Zhao Qixuan had no idea what was going on.?What the hell is Little Jing ordering??He was sensing a weird tension between these two.
“What does the Heir-son Lord want to order?”?Ye Jiayao asked.
Zhao Qixuan flapped his paper fan. “Whatever you are good at. It’s only me and Young Royal Highness today. You can make the decision.”
“Okay, then. Please wait for a while, I will make them right away.” Ye Jiayao bowed respectfully and left.
She returned to the kitchen and ordered a third-class kitchen hand, Cui Dongpeng, to go find some yellow clay.
Cui Dongpeng was lost. “Brother Yao, what do you need the yellow clay for?”
“Making beggar’s bird,”?Ye Jiayao answered indignantly.
Everyone was shocked as they have never heard of a dish called beggar’s bird.
“Haichuan, go find a pigeon. Brother Xiang, please make a pancake. You don’t need to add other ingredients for taste except for salt. White flour pancake.”
Ye Jiayao pulled her sleeves up and got ready.
Zhong Xiang replied tartly, “I am busy. You only need to take care of two valuable customers, but I still have a few tables of dishes to cook for.”
He suspected that Li Yao was making him do such an easy job to make him look bad.?Also, why did he have to listen to Li Yao? He wasn’t the master chef.
Ye Jiayao nodded.??Alright, you wanna play hardball?
“Who can make a pancake?”
Ye Jiayao saw that third-class kitchen hand Jiang Youli wanted to step up, but he halted after a glance from Zhong Xiang.
The air turned a bit awkward.
Ye Jiayao decided to just let it go. She didn’t want to trouble Jiang Youli. She took the yeast and started to do it by herself.
She squished the dough into thin pieces and then added a little bit of salt to it. She also added some butter and rolled the skin of the dough and made it into a pancake shape.
She was cursing Little Jing inside her head as she made the pancake.??That little runt. You’ve already made my journey to Jin Ling tough, and now you’re still creating trouble??
Inside the Fuqu Attic, Zhao Qixuan smiled at Helian Jing as if he knew what happened between him and Li Yao.
Helian Jing felt uncomfortable under Zhao’s knowing glance. “Why are you looking at me? My face doesn’t grow flowers and I am not your Little Su.”
Zhao Qixuan immediately folded his paper fan and moved closer to him. He smiled craftily and said, “I know why you are not looking for?that?person anymore.”
“Why?” Helian Jing sneered.
“Because you love someone else now.”
Helian Jing almost choked on his own tongue. He yelled defensively, “Nonsense! Love?”
Zhao Qixuan was too smart and perceptive to believe Helian Jing’s lie. “Why are you being defensive? You’re denying it because you’re afraid. Do you now that you have a tell? When you feel guilty or afraid, you can’t meet people’s eyes.”
“Whatever you say,”?Helian Jing scoffed dismissively, trying to calm himself down.
“I knew something was wrong with you since yesterday. When you saw Li Yao, your eyes lit up. Today, you rushed me to come here with you. When you didn’t see him, you were nervous and unsettled. When he was here, you couldn’t look at him directly in the eyes. You also intentionally ordered strange dishes to create problems for him.
“Little Jing, I have been through this type of things. You are the typical guy who likes someone so much but never speaks it out. You wanted to treat someone well but because you’re confused, you intentionally do the opposite. You just started to feel love for the first time but you’re too shy to express it. You’re heart and mind are struggling.”
Helian Jing looked at Zhao Qixuan in shock.??Have I been really that obvious?
“Do you need some help from me?” Zhao Qixuan was willing to help him to save a love story and expand the gay community. The more people who could understand him, the better.
“Help? I don’t need any help.” Helian Jing tapped the table with his fingers. The chaotic rhythm mirrored his unstable emotions.
“You are really not interested in Li Yao?” Zhao Qixuan smiled at him as if nothing happened.
Helian Jing shook his head, his lips twitching involuntarily. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Zhao Qixuan unfolded his paper fan and shook it calmly. He slowly said, “Since you are not interested, I will make a move on him. Little Su had been gone for two years, he seemed to have lost interest in me. A forced relationship is never good. Li Yao looks good and he is smart. The way he talks matches my temper…”
“You… excuse me? You’re going to what?” Helian Jing felt nervous.
“Chase him, of course! Li Yao is the first person other than Li Yao who stirred my feelings. I spent so many years on Little Su. I almost lost my life for him. I would do anything for him, but it all ended up just for nothing. Since there are so many beautiful men in this world, why should I limit myself to loving just one? I decided that I will go for Li Yao,” Zhao Qixuan said firmly, sounding and looking as if he had already made up his mind.
Helian Jing licked his dehydrated lips. “Umm… Qixuan, you just said yesterday that love needed persistence. Why would you give up today? I think Little Su still likes you. It’s just that his father objects it and he is trying to be an obedient son. My guess is he is sad and crying somewhere. If you give up on him, you’ll never know.”
“Also, Li Yao… yes, he is good, but he is just a chef. Your status is too different,” Helian Jing reasoned, desperately trying to dissuade Zhao Qixuan from his horrible idea.
“If it is true love, other things are unimportant.” Zhao Qixuan tried not to laugh at how hopeless Little Jing looked.
“Okay, fine, those are not important. But do you know if he even likes men? There’s a high chance that he’s not, but he’d still go along just because he’s intimidated by your power. That’d be beyond cruel!” Helian Jing cried out, his voice getting more panicky. He dragged Zhao Qixuan here so that he could boost his ego, not so he could steal his love.
Zhao Qixuan smiled kindly. “Well, we won’t know if he likes men if we don’t ask him. Perhaps he doesn’t even know it yet. Just like me, when I was 12, I thought I was going to marry my cousin. It wasn’t until I saw Little Su that I realized that I like men.”
Helian Jing had run out of excuses and the anxiety was already eating him up. He said angrily, “Just stay away from Li Yao.”
“Why? I like him. I don’t see how this concerns you,” Zhao Qixuan needled, wanting Little Jing to confess.
“Because… because… because he is the one I am looking for,” Helian Jing blurted out, succumbing to pressure.
That shocked Zhao Qixuan. Didn’t he say that he went to Jiang Xi? How did he turn into Li Yao?
“Don’t put anything into it. We are only friends. Just friends,” Helian Jing hurriedly explained as he saw Zhao Qixuan trying to piece everything together.
“As long as you don’t have feelings for him, it is fine with me,” Zhao Qixuan said casually.
“You just can’t. I won’t let him be with you. If you so much as make a move on him, we’ll cease being friends,” Helian Jing warned aggressively.
Zhao Qixuan frowned. “Aiyo! Are you threatening me? I don’t really care. I won’t stop until you confess that you like him.”
Helian Jing turned red.??Yes, I want him, but I can’t say that out loud!
Zhao Qixuan watched Little Jing became more worried with each passing second. Finally, he took pity on him. “Okay, fine. I was only joking. Ease up, young prince.”
“You are messing with me?”?Helian Jing exclaimed angrily, feeling really embarrassed.
Zhao Qixuan held his hands up and apologized. He patiently said, “Little Jing, it is not easy to meet someone you really like. Whatever other people say is not important. I’ve got your back. Don’t be afraid.”